Quill 3D Should I?

Community Forums/Developer Stations/Quill 3D Should I?

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#1]
I've got the cash, and I'm wondering if Quill3D is worth it.
I've got 3DS Max 6 as well but, it's my first try with the max series, although I've had experience with level/map builders before with some good basic results. So, I'm looking for something a bit simpler and specific to level/map building. Is Quill 3D a good choice??? I don't want to go over the $60 that it costs for Quill. I read the site descrips but, not a lot of screenies? Is it a pretty good choice for basically a beginner?? Can you make outdoor scenes with it too?

LuckyPhil(Posted 2004) [#2]
I purchased Quill3D last month, and I think it is a great program!. It does everything. Model creation, map making (you can make outdoor), UW texture unwrapping, etc. About the only thing it doesn't do at the moment is bones for animation.

It does have a copy protection though (you need to keep the CD in the drive to use it). While some people do bitch and moan about it, I don't find it an issue. YMMV though.

It is quite easy to use too once you get the hang of it.

In short, it's a great app, for the price. The 1.2 update increases the stability and speed (its better than the demo). From what I've read, Birdie is currently owrking on a new update with extra features too (check the Quill forums at http://invisionfree.com/forums/Quill3D/index.php - register to get to the extra forums like the tutorials, etc)

Grab the demo, and have a play.


IPete2(Posted 2004) [#3]

If I were you I would learn to use Max properly and spend your money on Giles which is a package to light your work with.

Max is a fantastic programme, you just need to spend a little time getting to know what you can do with it. Look on 3Dcafe.com for tutorials, they are there and that is how I started.

To work with Max is only as complex as you make it yourself - I know this sounds stupid, but there are so many ways to use it and many, many more tools hidden inside Max which seem make it too complex but really once you get a method or process worked out, you'll fly through building levels. It is a really efficient programme, designed to make your life simpler. (No I don't work for Discreet! :) ). Also don't forget that Max can do other cool things which right now you don't care for, but later you might. Shockwave export for example. Character development, animation, video creation... the options are almost endless. Also there are plenty of people who use it on these forums who you can refer to for help.

There is no doubt about it, Quill 3D is good, but fiddly compared to Max and as you have Max already you should not consider another, simpler package.

With B3D Pipeline and Giles and perhaps Ultimate Unwrap 3d you have the perfect complimentary tools.

If you haven't seen Giles in action well get the demo - it is awesome. You can export .ASE which Giles can import (it can import a load of different formats again just check it out).

I hope this helps.


Ricky Smith(Posted 2004) [#4]

There is no doubt about it, Quill 3D is good, but fiddly compared to Max and as you have Max already you should not consider another, simpler package.

I would disagree. Max is not really designed as a level builder . It is much easier to create a 3d level for a game using a dedicated level builder like Quill3d which with its entity and static mesh placement and portalling system - its anything but fiddly - you just export your level as 1 .b3d with all its lighting,static mesh placement and visibility all included - how fiddly can that be compared to using Max and the .b3d pipeline. And there's no need to purchase any additional app like UU or Gile[s] even though they are very good and useful apps in their own right.

(tu) sinu(Posted 2004) [#5]
edit: i'd go and get quill3D, from many users i've spoke with, it is awesome.

GfK(Posted 2004) [#6]
you got Max6 and don't want to go over $60 for quill, something doesn't sound legal :)
My thoughts exactly. This smells fishier than Captain Birdseye's wellies.

Personally, I didn't like Quill. The GUI didn't feel very user-friendly and very few of the icons actually made any sense.

darklordz(Posted 2004) [#7]
@Smiff A agree with IPete there, max is great for level building (indoor and out!) but only if you know how to use it right...

@Gfk I believe CodeD has a plausible explenation for that one,....

CopperCircle(Posted 2004) [#8]
Im selling my copy of Quill3D if you want to buy it?
I just didn`t get on with it.

Beaker(Posted 2004) [#9]
Even if you only buy Quill for the map making part (the best bit IMO) then it is worth it. Remember, you can always lightmap your Quill maps in Gile[s] further down the line when you a) have more cash and b) think the project deserves nicer lighting.

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#10]
So, If I burn a backup cd copy of Quill 3D will that work? Or are you just stuck with the original disc til it burns out and then you're screwed?

I did purchase my copy of max 6. You know what, I've already invested enough money and I don't want to blow anymore. Does that sound legal enough for you? I know there are more progs out there running 200 and up but, I'm trying to keep myself on somewhat of a budget. Just because I spent a mint on 3ds max doesn't mean I'm limitlessly wealthy. I got it because I want to learn. I'm still a cheap sob and don't want to dig into more pockets any more than I have to. While 3D Max takes care of my desires to learn, I would also like to work with something that I can get some results with.
I've worked with progs specific to level modeling before and have done a few decent maps so, I'm not in uncharted waters.
While I find that 3dmax is a great modeling program, it doesn't seem fit to mapping for me right now.

On the other hand, Thanks for the tips, guys.

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#11]
Alright, well I take it back, I am willing to spend a little dough if someone can point me to a really good mapping/leveler program, preferabbly an end all solution.

(tu) sinu(Posted 2004) [#12]
Doesn't max6 cost the price of a car though, that's a bit large to pay for something just to learn, would've started small with maybe milkshape etc.

ps not having a go, just an opinion, wether it be way off or not.

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#13]
I used MilkShape before and Max and Milk are built upon the same principles, Max just takes it to the next level. I have sort of a dive into mentality when it comes to things sometimes. I don't want to work up to being a MilkShape pinball wizard, then starting over with something else. So, I figure go with the industry standard.

What about CART SHOP 4? Any praise for that? Quill and Cart are both about the same price.

IPete2(Posted 2004) [#14]

I'd warrant that there are far more maps in games and in the games industry generally which are made with Max, than the number made with Quill 3D - which as I have said is a great product - I have both - Max is better if you can stretch to it!

Quill is fiddly, the gui is a little awkward at best, It is okay for simple levels but for more complex stuff Max beats it hands down, anyone want to argue with that fact? Really? Seriously? The gui in Max is so configurable it's a pleasure to work with.

If you want design with flexibility, creativity, innovation and to be able to export for B3d or even for more sophisticated engines and for games design generally you need something with the extensive plugin capability which Max offers (many are available free too).

Character building is much easier, animation, texturing, lighting, camera movements, need I go on? Max is far quicker and has over 10 years pedigree behind it (as well as a huge price tag - but CodeD already owns Max!)

Quill is great to get you started, but CodeD already has Max 6!!!!!

Why on earth would he want to spend more money?

Get my drift?

Using Giles and B3d Pipeline as helpful tools to increase productivity when using Max is my favoured option - I like Ultimate Unwrap too for some export especially animation stuff, but you do not need to purchase them too!

;) (sorry it's not meant to be a wind up but a serious statement).


CodeD(Posted 2004) [#15]
I did try the Quill3d demo and the gui is pretty awful.
I still haven't figured out how to make hollow primitives and where the heck the csg subtract function is...
How about 3ds level prefabs??? know where I should go?

mearrin69(Posted 2004) [#16]
Take a look at the product manuals - the users guide for Max has simply everything. Just look in the index under boolean (I think).

As far as prefabs go, I'd think you want to make your own - to suit your own style, game type, etc. Other than that, though, I don't have a clue. Maybe you can manage to import some from somewhere into max?

Ricky Smith(Posted 2004) [#17]
@IPETE2 - Yep all your points are very valid however for someone who is relatively new to the world of 3d I would think it easier building a level in Quill3d than in Max- I guess its horses for courses really - Max is an outstandingly good app that can do pretty much anything you want it do really but then considering its price it should also make you a cup of tea in the morning !

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#18]
I just tried CartShop4 demo and it's a lot better than the quill demo but, might be a support issue as far as exporting is concerned. I don't know. Maybe someone who uses cs4 with b3d could tell me?

Beaker(Posted 2004) [#19]
I disagree with a lot here. You could argue that more levels are made in Hammer (or similar) map tools than Max, but you aren't gonna rush out and use them, cos they aren't made for Blitz. Quill works in the same way as these tools, and is made for Blitz. It really depends on what sort of map you want to make, but having tried to use Max to make levels, I don't recommend it much. It's quite difficult keeping the texture mapping under control and navigating around the inside of tight spaces.

CodeD - ignore what you saw in Quill so far, it sounds like you were in the mesh editor and not the map editor. They are very different tools. The mesh editor is fine if you have never used anything better/pricier, but the map editor is where you will the difference will shine. Don't forget you get occlusion code/export with Quill as well.

I've also tried CShop, and it does have some neat tricks, but mostly I've found it to be buggy, underpowered and has an anti-user philosophy (in my opinion).

In summary, I don't think the best map editor exists yet for Blitz, but out of all those that do I rate Quill most highly. If you can get on with Max then use that, it is a great tool, but it won't be the complete answer: issues with lightmapping, slicing-up and occlusion will haunt you.

IPete2(Posted 2004) [#20]

Yeah I guess I concede the hammer point, but Coded already has purchased Max. He hasn't spent that money lightly and he has produced levels before.

I think the navigation around Max both Gui and shape/level/character/models and the control you have within that work space is far, far superior to Quill3D - which is clunky to say the least!

This is of course only my opinion.


The reason I didn't mention CShop (which is a much simpler tool far easier and quicker but has far less functions than Quill3d) is exactly because Josh does not wish to support b3d export currently (afaik).

You can use the .csm exported maps/levels with the Singularity Engine, (which btw is a b3d developed product). You can include stuff like physics, particles, my door entities, parametes galore from CShop prefabs/parameters, straight into the Singularity Engine - written in b3d.

But you will need to get your head around the engine itself - not too difficult but as it is still in development, it is likely to change (and does often), so keeping up can be a task!

On the other hand I was able to develop door entities to control doors opening, closing, keys and locks with just a few days programming. These are avaialable as prefabs you just drop them into your map and configure your setting - very very easy.

You can export .X and lightmaps (which is cool), and CShop 4.0 is much much much better than 3.x for stability and user friendliness - You can go fullscreen with any viewport for a start! CSG and Carve are back but with some bugs I believe.

But there is no b3d export currently - and from what Josh has said I would guess it is not too likely to be there any time soon.

So again, this may not be the best solution.

To do Cutting stuff in Max is pretty easy.

Make a box, make a sphere. Make the sphere overlap the box a little.

Select the box and look for 'standard primitives' pull down. Inside there select compound objects.

There is a button in the called Boolean, click it.
Click 'Pick Operand B'. Select the sphere. Voila! One big sphere shaped hole in your box!



darklordz(Posted 2004) [#21]
@MasterBeaker >> I'd studie under filax...he seems to be doing pretty well...seen his egypt level?

Beaker(Posted 2004) [#22]
Hey, I'm not saying map building can't be done in Max, cos I know it can. But, I've yet to see a bunch of Max rooms strung together into a level (from filax or otherwise), with (or even without) occlusion.

Filax is a very talented artist, but so far he has only produced fairly simple demos using his great art.

Its worth bearing in mind that the biggest and most complex games I've seen in Blitz actually use quite lowly tools like Maplet (+ decorator)!

Shambler(Posted 2004) [#23]
Josh has said b3d export will be back in version 5 of CartShop.

I was using CartShop over Quill3D because my levels were very high poly and Quill3D was struggling.

Now however my levels are alot lower poly count and since Quill3D has caulk faces and clipping to a plane it is much easier for me to design my levels with it.

Both Quill3D and CartShop have their share of bugs but spending ?000's on Max has never been an option for me.

So for now I use Quill3D and Gile[s] to get a correctly exported and lightmapped .b3d file.

CyBeRGoth(Posted 2004) [#24]
Hey, I'm not saying map building can't be done in Max, cos I know it can. But, I've yet to see a bunch of Max rooms strung together into a level (from filax or otherwise), with (or even without) occlusion.

Well all the levels in the Feebs were created with 3ds Max 4, some use CSG and some dont. Max is good for level building.

Ricky Smith(Posted 2004) [#25]

Max is good for level building.

No-one said it isn't but it isn't - the point is that Max is not a dedicated level builder and most FPS type games do not use Max to create their levels - UnrealED, WorldCraft etc etc - these are specialised apps Max is not - its more of an all purpose 3d content creation tool.

Of course depending on the type of game then Max may be suitable but when talking about interior game levels for FPS games I doubt whether any games exist where Max was used as the level builder and not one of the afore mentioned dedicated level builders.

mearrin69(Posted 2004) [#26]
Several professional developers that I can think of have used max or Maya to build their levels for recent games. And, some pro developers have begun to build tools inside of these apps to create their level builders - rather than create standalone tools. Of course, they have the resources to do this - I know I don't have the time or inclination to fool with maxscript or MEL.

IPete2(Posted 2004) [#27]
I think everyone is slightly missing the original point anyway - CodeD already has paid for Max 6.0 - I am stating that he can't really get anything better than that tool - he just needs to settle down to learning it.

He'll never look back if he does!

Max offers far greater potential than any of the other fine packages mentioned in this thread. But as I keep saying - he has already bought MAX!!

Why bother with anything else?

The great thing about what Max and other tools like it offer is exportability to specialist engines. I have a friend who uses Max exclusively, for games, films, television, goverment and agency work!

He and his colleagues worked on all the WRC games for PS2 at Evolution.

Whatever the good or bad points about Quill 3D and CShop and Maplet these are not the tools which the pros are using. Max, Maya, Lightwave are.

We aspire to be games designers of the best calibre we are able to be... if we have access to Max should'nt it be the choice over the other less capable products?

Enough of this chatter... :)

Coded should choose the 'weapon' of his choice and go with it, be it Quill or CShop or Maplet or whatever.

I kinda wonder why the question wasn't asked before he bought Max...could have saved a lot of questions! :)


Did you purchase Max because it was a good price, because you knew it was a great tool to use - or that you thought it was the best for the job? Did you not think that before you spent all that hard earned dosh on Max that you should check out the other products for level design first?

Or are you just japing with us?



Hey Coded, I just had a thought! I'll swap you my origianl copy of Quill3D for your original copy of Max 6.0! lol.

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#28]
hah, that's a good one. Well, I got max because I wanted to learn the industry standard. I'm started to get familiar with it and since this post have managed to make some levels but, the problem I'm having is with walk-thru mode. Where is it?
I mean I've made basically a hollowed out box using boolean subtract and i can zoom the view in and out but, i can't figure out how to get to or if there is a walk-thru mode like most level editors or if i need to get some sort of plugin for this. And I could use some prefabs, too!!
And my one other question is, is it possible to make entities in 3d max like moving doors or spawn points and stuff like that to interact with a program, does the b3d pipeline export that kind of stuff? And does the b3d pipeline export the lightmaps as well??? I've got it installed already I'm just not sure if I'm doing this stuff right.
But, for now I've called off pitchin' in for another app.

IPete2(Posted 2004) [#29]

There is no walk through mode in Max other than make a viewport fullscreen and move through using the mouse.

Yes animation is very easy, but what I would do to keep it simple is this:


Make your level before you put doors and animated objects in. Group it and save it all off as a Max file and a B3d file.

Make a door in your level, texture it

Select the grouped level and delete it, leaving just your door or doors in place.

Animate the door opening by clicking the 'Auto Key' near the centre of the screen at the bottom. The time line goes red.

Look at the left of the time line there is a float. move it to the number of frames you require to open the door in.
Rotate the door. Turn auto key off.

Export the door as a max file and a b3d file.

Load both into B3d separately, do not position either, they will both centre up automatically and be in the correct place.

set up the door mesh to animate in b3d.

animate it opening and then reverse the animation so it closes.


Good luck

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#30]
cool, thanks for the tips. I understand what you're talking about and that helps. I did figure a way to kind of use walk-through by setting up a camera though.

IPete2(Posted 2004) [#31]

but you have to figure out camera paths and views etc don't you?

I thought you meant like roam in Quill its just a button click away!


CodeD(Posted 2004) [#32]
well, you can put in a free camera, change perspective window to camera view and then just switch to a different view window and move the camera around, this will basically emulate free roaming camera.

IPete2(Posted 2004) [#33]

I didn't know that


CodeD(Posted 2004) [#34]
Yep, no kidding it's kind of a work-around but, it works! Approach problems from all directions. As long as this is the ask pete thread I've got one more for ya, how do i export my meshes, so I can paint them in photoshop. I was messing with uvw unwrap, i think that's got something to do with it but, i couldn't figure out where the export doodle was.

The good news is: I made an arch all by myself! Yay, idiots enjoy small accomplishments.

CyBeRGoth(Posted 2004) [#35]
You can also use b3d pipeline and have a walk through your level inside max

as for the uvw unwrap problems, read the manual and tutorials with max they are excellent guides.

CodeD(Posted 2004) [#36]